Flight Engineer Chris Cassidy works with the loading and unloading of supplies in the Leonardo Permanent Multipurpose Module of the Earth-orbiting International Space Station. Credit: NASA
The Expedition 36 crew of the International Space Station performed science and maintenance activities and reviewed emergency roles and responsibilities Friday, wrapping up an eventful week that saw the arrival of three new crew members.
Flight Engineers Karen Nyberg of NASA and Luca Parmitano of the European Space Agency (ESA) used an air flow meter to measure the air circulation throughout the U.S. segment of the station. Monitoring and maintaining the station's Temperature and Humidity Control Intermodule Ventilation system is essential in keeping the crew comfortable and safe from dangerous pockets of carbon dioxide that can build up in the absence of gravity.
Afterward, Nyberg used a multimeter to measure the insulation resistance of the Kobairo rack's Gradient Heating Furnace located in the Kibo module. This electrical furnace, which consists of a vacuum chamber and three independently movable heaters, is used to generate high-quality crystals from melting materials.
Nyberg's fellow NASA astronaut aboard the complex, Flight Engineer Chris Cassidy, performed some routine maintenance on the station's Water Recovery System as he changed out a recycle tank.
Cassidy also continued his participation in the Pro K experiment as nutritionists evaluate the effectiveness of dietary changes to lessen the bone loss experienced by astronauts in space.
› Read more about Pro K
[image-62]After a break for lunch, Cassidy, Nyberg and Parmitano teamed up with their Russian colleagues aboard the station – Commander Pavel Vinogradov and Flight Engineers Alexander Misurkin and Fyodor Yurchikhin – to review their roles and responsibilities in the event of an emergency.
Vinogradov also worked with the ISS Progress 51 cargo ship, refilling it with items for disposal when it undocks on June 11 for a destructive re-entry over the Pacific Ocean. The departure of Progress 51 will clear the aft docking port of the Zvezda service module for the arrival of ESA's "Albert Einstein" Automated Transfer Vehicle-4, which is set to launch at 5:52 p.m. EDT Wednesday from Kourou, French Guiana and dock with the station on June 15.
Misurkin meanwhile conducted another session of the Relaksatsiya Earth-observation experiment, studying chemical luminescent reactions in the atmosphere.
Yurchikhin spent much of his day working inside the Soyuz TMA-09M spacecraft that brought him, Nyberg and Parmitano to the station less than six hours after launching from the Baikonur Cosmodrome in Kazakhstan on Tuesday. Yurchikhin updated a procedure book and transferred cargo out of the Soyuz.
› Read more about the Soyuz launch and docking
As the newest crew members just beginning their 5 ½ month stay aboard the station, Yurchikhin, Nyberg and Parmitano also had time set aside for crew orientation to learn the ropes of their new orbital home.
Over the weekend, the station's onboard crew will have an opportunity to relax and speak with family members back on Earth. The station's residents also will take care of weekly housekeeping activities and continue their daily 2 ½-hour exercise regimen to prevent the loss of muscle mass and bone density that occurs during long-duration spaceflight.
› Read more about Expedition 36